Link to BBC Homepage

Front Page







World News in Audio

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Tuesday, April 28, 1998 Published at 01:07 GMT 02:07 UK


Impotence cure stimulates interest
image: [ Viagra has been prescribed for 40,000 men in three weeks ]
Viagra has been prescribed for 40,000 men in three weeks

A new drug developed to target sexual impotence has sent men flocking to pharmacies and doctors' surgeries all over the United States.

Viagra has been prescribed to 40,000 men in the first three weeks it has been on sale in the US.

British men are also eager to get their hands on the pill, with the British Impotence Association reporting an average 100 calls and 100 letters each day enquiring about Viagra. The drug is expected to go on sale in Europe later this year.

The light-blue, diamond-shaped Viagra tablets are being offered for sale over the Internet at a cost of $105 for 10.

Doctors in the UK have warned that the pills are not suitable for everyone and should only be taken if prescribed.

Up to 40% of men affected

Up to 40% of men are believed to suffer from impotence by the age of 40.

The drug was originally developed to improve blood supply to the heart in angina sufferers. It has now been adapted to facilitiate the flow of blood to the penis necessary to sustain an erection.

By inhibiting the phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) enzyme, which is found mainly in the penis, Viagra allows the chemical produced during sexual stimulation, cyclic GMP, to persist.

The longer cyclic GMP persists, the better the chance for increased blood flow.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

Link to BBC Homepage

Internet Links

Research information on Viagra

Impotence Resource Centre Website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named

World Contents

Middle East
South Asia
From Our Own Correspondent
Letter From America